Capricorn Caves is home to the endangered fern Tectaria devexa

The staff are very passionate about conserving this beautiful fern and have untaken a massive fern planting project.

Tectaria devexa var devexa is a small fern growing in very thin pockets of soil on the cave walls where there is enough sunlight and water.

Although it is widely distributed in Sri Lanka, South East Asia, Vanuatu and Christmas Island, the Caves district north of Rockhampton is the only known site in mainland Australia where it grows.

Tectaria devexa is listed as endangered under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

The relic population at Capricorn Caves declined to near extinction in 2006 with only 21 plants left.

Luckily, spores (like seeds) were collected from these remaining plants and sent to Heaton’s Nursery in Nambour.

Hundreds of baby ferns were propagated, and over the years these have been replanted around the Capricorn Caves.

The fern is extremely susceptible to changes in temperature, drying out, and disturbance by wallabies and scrub turkeys.

The Capricorn Caves staff continue to replant ferns from the Nursery collection out into the wild.

See if you can spot the newly planted Tectaria devexa at Grand Entrance and Sky Window.

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